Catch fish with Mike Ladle.

Catch Fish with
Mike Ladle

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SEA FISHING

29 July 2002

Fish don't (often) change their habits.

Some years ago there was a cliff fall which destroyed my access to a very good stretch of shoreline. To tell the truth, even before the landslide, the path never was very good. It involved a long cliff-top hike followed by a scramble down a steep bank and a precarious descent on wet crumbling shale. Even then there was more walking over rugged boulders to the best fishing spots.

It is a long while since I fished the stretch so when Steve Pitts suggested taking his boat along to fish the undercliff I was delighted. We set off at about seven-thirty in the evening giving us a couple of hours fishing. First of all we had a couple of drifts over a shallow ledge but the only bites on our plugs were from garfish which we failed to hook.

It was a calm warm evening so when we eventually got to the inaccessible stretch of shoreline it was easy to drift parallel to the rocky beach. We tackled up with shallow diving plugs and began casting towards the shore (about fifty or sixty metres distant) and retrieving our shallow diving plugs. It was not long before decent bass took my lure and began to take line off the reel so I was gutted when the fish came unstuck but within a couple of seconds, before I could begin to recover line, another fish took and was hooked. It fought well in two metres of gin clear water and Steve took a couple of pictures with my camera before the bass was returned.

After a while I caught another smaller bass which took the plug only a yard or two from the rocks and then I had a wrasse. Steve was beginning to make unkind suggestions about the possible reasons for my my good fortune when he caught a bass himself. By now it was nearly time to pack in so I changed to a Chug Bug for the last ten minutes. On one cast I had three fish (or the same fish three times) swirling at the lure as it popped its way across the surface but although I waited for the savage snatch of a bass, none was forthcoming.

All in all it was a perfect evening and a smashing trip and the fish were in exactly the places that we used to catch them by spinning from the shore. Both of us are looking forward to another session before long.

If you have any comments or questions about fish, methods, tactics or 'what have you.'get in touch with me by sending an E-MAIL to - docladle@hotmail.com

Wild cabbage growing on shale cliff face.

It is extremely dangerous even to stand under these crumbling cliffs let alone to climb down them.

My first fish.

This bass took the plug just after one of its mates came unstuck.

Another bass.

Note how close to the shore we are.  At times it was possible to cast onto the rocks.  The water was less than 2m deep under the boat.

Steve's bass.

The light was beginning to fail when Steve caught his fish.

Just for a change.

Ballan wrasse are common catches over the same ground as the bass.  Note the other rod, armed with a J13, for fishing deeper water.